Yearly Archives: 2009

So it’s been crazy busy down here with the holiday season upon us as well as the yearly inundation of tourists. I haven’t had any time to post and I feel like I’ve really been slacking on my site. I still have two new weddings to post, but I wanted to get in one about entreAmigos first. entreAmigos is the non-profit whose story I document and a few weeks ago we had the grand opening of our new building! It’s amazing, but we still have so far to go so please if you’d like more information or if you’d like to donate go to and help the children of San Pancho!

These first few are some before shots to give you a sense of how much work actually went into this project. It’s unreal what it looks like now!



here are some of the people that make entreAmigos happen…


…but of course, none of this would ever have happened if it were not for Nicole, the strongest and most determined woman I have ever met.


a big thank you to everyone involved! we did it!!


i have to include a couple of these two. they were so cute. i could have shot them all day!



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  • deirdre - I love these photos! You really capture the spirit of the people and the school.

Like Jessica Claire said, you take a workshop with Jose Villa and you expect to learn a thing or two. In my case it was the latter times one hundred or maybe two. When I read that Jose would be having a workshop near Guadalajara in November I was ecstatic. I live about four hours away and to me there couldn’t have been a larger neon sign screaming to me that I had to take this workshop.

Things were going to happen at this workshop. I needed to be a part of this workshop. And so I went.

And I was surrounded on all sides by incredible talent and inspiration.

On the wedding side we had Jose, Jessica, and ‘the wedding planner’ Jill Lafleur. For creativity, vision, and the oh so needed mind and body opening throughout the day there was the unbelievably talented Karina Puente. The glam makeup and fab styling (and of course witty commentary) come courtesy of Mar of Team Hair and Makeup and Mathew Johns respectively. If that wasn’t enough super 8 filmmaker Joel Serrato was there as was Brian from Richard Photo Lab. Last, but certainly not least was Lacie who had the amazingly hard job of keeping us all on schedule and organized. Seriously I don’t know how she did it.

In addition to all of the amazing people listed above there were also 16 super talented individuals there to take part in the workshop. Watching other photographers work is a great learning tool for me. I love to see how each person’s individual style shines through the direction of their clients (or in our case models).

I walked away with so much more than I ever thought possible. One of the hardest things for me is to step back, take a deep breath, and feel where I am. Not just where, but who I am and who I want to be. This workshop was an awakening for me. I truly appreciate every moment I had with such a talented group of people and hope that you all will be down this way again soon!

Here are some of my favorites from the workshop. The first few were taken around the Hacienda del Carmen which offered some unreal backdrops…

jillianmitchell-82 josevilla_taller_2


And these were taken on the second day in a nearby pueblo.

Dresses by Claire Pettibone and hairpieces by Oh My Deer-Etsy. Aren’t they awesome? Models courtesy of Citro Modelos.

josevilla_taller_3Yay gorgeous light!

jillianmitchell-36 jillianmitchell-34 jillianmitchell-76 jillianmitchell-33Her dress just looks so rad in this one:

josevilla_taller_6These next two sets are probably my favorites from the day…

josevilla_taller_4 josevilla_taller_5The best thing about Mexico, well besides the video games, are the colors:

jillianmitchell-75 josevilla_taller_7This is a shot Jose set up and I just really dig it:


These guys had a really good energy going on. It was super easy to get great photos!

josevillataller_1And again yay for more beautiful light:

jillianmitchell-45 jillianmitchell-77 jillianmitchell-54


When I get my film back from Richards I will post my shots of the hacienda…

Thank you to everyone for making this workshop such an amazing experience, but most of all to Jose for bringing us all together! I can only hope that I get the chance to work with all of you again.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes of everyone (almost… sorry Joel+Jill). I love the one of Karina playing perro, perro, gato (duck, duck, goose get it? or literally, dog, dog, cat) with the kids in one of the towns. Clockwise form top left: the amazing Lacie doing some last minute touch ups, Mar or TEAM hair and makeup whose tool belt I just need to own, Mathew Johns master styler and hilarious too, Jose showing use how it’s done, Karina with the kids, even the models wanted to see Jessica’s shots, and again Jose with some local talent.


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  • Muriel - Jill, these are beautiful!!!

  • lissa - wow, jilly jill. these are amazing! your talent grows day by day. heart!

  • Adrian T. - Gorgeous. Love that last image. Do let me know if you find yourself in Australia one day! – Adrian

  • Jamie - Simply Beautiful.

  • Ashley Davis - Jillian- just discovered your blog. Gorgeous work. Your image of the ‘bride and groom’ walking down the street with the kids running beside them is, in my opinion, is the best of the lot. It goes beyond the light, posing, and expressions and made me think “wow! I’ve never seen that shot before!”

  • michelle bres - Jill!! fue un gustazo conocerte y tienes una vibra super chingona!!!… perdon por mi frances jajaja. las fotos estan espectaculares, es ipresionante como cada quien tiene su propio punto de vista y el tuyo es padrĂ­sissisismo!!.
    felcidades por estas fotos.

One of my favorite things to do is hang out and take photos of the kids at the Montessori school in town, Escuela del Mundo. They get to do so many cool things that were never included in my elementary school years. Yoga in the morning, and once a month excursions to Zubuya. It was as though we entered another world when we arrived at the home of Monica and Marciano (they also teach at the school). They’ve named their land and home Zubuya which is a Mayan term referring to how everything is connected and essentially we’re all one. We were immediately welcomed by a large scorpion which Marciano picked up to show everyone as though it were a petal from a flower. What I love about Escuela del Mundo is how they welcome each day and eachother. They thank the earth for everything it has given them, they stretch a bit, and often, like today, they greet eachother with a salute. Because Dia de Los Muertos was just a day away one of the activities was to carve skull sculptures to put on the school altar. Besides being so much fun for the kids, Zubuya is a photographer’s dream! There were gorgeous wild flowers, butterflies, and little details everywhere I turned, which I put in the next post…

Escuela del Mundo Collage_1

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This past weekend was a big one in Mexico. Dia de Los Muertos is probably the most famous of all Mexican holidays and we held a small festival in San Pancho to celebrate. I absolutely love how Mexicans embrace death as a part of life and have a specific day set aside to celebrate and remember those who of have passed on. If you’ve ever seen a Mexican cemetery you know what I mean. The colors, flowers, and shrines almost welcome you to come in and pay your respects. A stark contrast to the cold gray slabs of the cemeteries in the u.s. of a. The procession was led by Aztec dancers and finished at the plaza where the performances took place. Our theme was Un Colectivo bien Muerto which is a story for another time…



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